Which eye diseases are genetic?
Retinitis Pigmentosa is the most well known genetic eye disease. Many cases of severe eye disease in children such as microphthalmos (small eye), cataract, glaucoma and retinoblastoma, an eye tumour in childhood, are caused by genetic defects.
Many genetic diseases which affect several body systems also affect the eye e.g. Marfan’s syndrome, neurofibromatosis.
It is increasingly recognised that many adult eye diseases such as cataract, glaucoma and diabetes are modified by a person’s genetic constitution but it may be that diet is an important factor (See Starch Study).
There are some aspects of most genetic eye diseases that can be treated, but as yet treatment to put right the genetic problem itself is not available for these conditions. There is a great deal of research being done into genetic disorders, and it is reasonable to expect advances in treatment in future years.
The doctors in the USA who pioneered the alternative treatment for Macular Degeneration also found that Retinitis Pigmentosa also responded. Quite why this is if the problem is genetic ‘in the eye’ is baffling. If the problem is lack of nutritional uptake in the digestive tract (genetic) or a problem absorbing the nutrients in the eye then it may explain ‘why’. The simple fact is it does respond at any age and the average person could not care less why it works.